As the only American to win the Tour de France - and not have his titles taken away for cheating - Lemond is probably the greatest American cyclist ever. Well, the greatest that didn't have all of his accomplishments taken away because he was doping.
It may not happen though, as it would require approval in the Senate, and by the President. Strangely there is a connection between Lemond and President Trump; the '89 and '90 Tour de Trump featured Lemond and a very impressive lineup of American and European racers.
Lemond won the 1992 event whichhad become known as the Tour DuPont in 1991. Trump had become too poor to sponsor it. Plus it sounds like nobody liked him even back then. You should go read the wikipedia page on the Tour de Trump - it's kinda wild. Entertainment Tonight host John Tesh and CBS basketball colour commentator Billy Packer were the two big names behind the race if you can believe that.
But whatever. At TeamCow, it's all about the bike, and Lemond had some beauties.
Let's check them out;
He did it with an aero helmet, and Triathlon-style clip on bars. Nobody did this in 1989. Everybody did it afterwards. And check out those most excellent Mavic "starfish" cranks.
One of the best paint jobs ever too.
Now, as you can see in this photo from the '89 TdF, it's a Bottecchia. But at the World Championships in September, it had no decals at all. I believe the ADR team had Bottecchia as a sponsor, but Greg was in a position where he could ride anything he wanted, and carbon was the new hottness at the time.
Secret bikes with different decals on them is pretty common in racing - it's something I'll talk about in the future perhaps.
The classic steel race bike was near the end of it's dominance in the ProTour by this point. Carbon was about to take over. Apart from a couple of aluminium wins in the late 90's, carbon bikes have won every race from '85 to the present. Check out this terrific page for a run down of every TdF winner.
That lasted until '01 or so, when Trek forced Lemond to publicly apologize for accusing Lance Armstrong of doping. Armstrong himself said he would make sure Trek shut down Lemond's company.
Of course we now know that Lemond was right, and John Burke of Trek was wrong. He famously said of this incident, "His actions (Lemond) are inconsistent with our values—values we believe in and live everyday. And after years of trying to make it work, we are done."
Those values are apparently cheating to win the TdF, doing whatever Lance Armstrong says, and never apologizing. Further more, that makes three very important American bike builders that Trek messed with; Lemond, Gary Klein - a pioneer in aluminium mountain bikes - and Gary Fisher, who Trek erased from the market with not one word in 2012.
Trek is evil, I have no doubt of this.
I've veered way off course here. What's important is that Lemond had awesome bikes that were super important to the ProTour. And now he's maybe getting a medal.